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It's showtime in rural heartland of Fermanagh

Iain McLean is presented with the cup for his champion dairy cow by show queen Moira Johnston
Iain McLean is presented with the cup for his champion dairy cow by show queen Moira Johnston
Stephen and Sam Millar enjoying the fun at the Fermanagh Show
Victoria Johnston leading her winning exhibit

By Richard Halleron

Visitors attending Fermanagh Show were using their umbrellas to protect them from the sunshine yesterday, which bathed Enniskillen showgrounds throughout the event.

This year's finale to the agricultural show season saw the McLean family from Bushmills claim their fifth inter-breed dairy championship of the year.

Yet again, the winning cow was the homebred Holstein, Priest and Shot J Rose.

Another highlight of the Fermanagh event was the judging of the pedigree Beef Shorthorn National Show.

The classes within this native breed attracted exhibitors from across Northern Ireland.

But it was the four-year-old cow, Ricketstown Lovely, owned by Duncan McDowell from Newtownards, that walked away with the coveted championship rosette.

Judge Bobby Landers, from Wigtownshire in Scotland, who was making his first judging appearance on the island of Ireland, told the large crowd that it had been a great show of Shorthorn cattle and there had been a fantastic line-up of champions.

"The Shorthorn cow has great size, length and depth with a great calf behind her," he said.

Runner-up to the champion overall were George and William Gott from Springfield, Co Fermanagh with their 2017-born heifer, Uppermill Blythesome Bonnie. She is in-calf for October.

Secretary of the Northern Ireland Beef Shorthorn Club, Barry Fitzsimons, from Ballynahinch, said that members were delighted to be invited to run their national show in Fermanagh.

"This show has been a phenomenal success and we have a good turnout from breeders from the west of the province," he said.

A Northern Ireland-wide championship to find the best pedigree beef junior bull also culminated with a final at this year's Fermanagh Show, with the honour going to exhibitors Stuart and David Bothwell, from St Angelo.

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